BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

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Byron Angel

BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:27 pm

I ran across my copy of D'Eyncourt's post-war analysis of SMS BADEN, which includes some detailed (from Goodall) transverse cross-sectional diagrams of BADEN through her magazine and machinery spaces. A comparison of BADEN's armor scheme versus that of BISMARCK leads me to conclude that any relationship must be viewed as superficial at best. While one can argue that the presence of an upper belt in the BISMARCK scheme links her to the BADEN design, the most important features of BISMARCK's amor layout, i.e. the heavy deck scarp behind the lower belt and the unusual armored deck scheme, are unique to BISMARCK.

I will say that a closer familial relationship might fairly be argued when the overall internal layout of the two ships are compared, but that is another discussion for another day.

My opinion, for whatever it's worth.

Byron

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Bgile » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:53 pm

Hmmm.... I thought the Baden did have both the upper armored deck and the scarp. I can't find a drawing at the moment.

Byron Angel

Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:21 pm

Bgile wrote:Hmmm.... I thought the Baden did have both the upper armored deck and the scarp. I can't find a drawing at the moment.
..... BADEN had two armored decks. The uppermost was at weather deck level forward and aft in the way of the main battery turrets and over the 5.9in battery amidships; a conventional armored lower deck lay beneath it, covering the machinery and magazines. Each was about 1.2in in thickness. All in all, the layout was pretty conventional by WW1 standards.

The lower armor deck of BADEN did slope down to meet the bottom of the main belt. In that sense it might technically be described as a scarp but it was of the same thickness as the flat portion of the deck - 1.2in - again, pretty conventional by WW1 standards. The material and important difference between these sloped portions was the massively greater armor thickness employed in the case of BISMARCK. In BADEN's case, I think we are looking at a simple conventional splinter catcher; in the case of BISMARCK, we are looking at a system designed intentionally to defeat projectiles that pierced the main belt.

Byron

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Bgile » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:23 am

Byron Angel wrote: The lower armor deck of BADEN did slope down to meet the bottom of the main belt. In that sense it might technically be described as a scarp but it was of the same thickness as the flat portion of the deck - 1.2in - again, pretty conventional by WW1 standards. The material and important difference between these sloped portions was the massively greater armor thickness employed in the case of BISMARCK. In BADEN's case, I think we are looking at a simple conventional splinter catcher; in the case of BISMARCK, we are looking at a system designed intentionally to defeat projectiles that pierced the main belt.
That may be, but in both cases the cross sectional appearance is essentially the same. Bismarck's scarp is also about the same thickness as the lower armor deck, but of course much thicker and obviously the Bismarck's designers intended the increased thickness to provide better protection against shells piercing the main armor belt. I think a number of WWI battleships had a scarp, but Bismarck is the only WWII battleship I'm aware of which does.

I don't understand the controversy. It's perfectly logical to use an existing design which worked reasonably well and improve upon it in the next generation. All sorts of navies did this sort of thing, but there seems to be an aversion to that idea in this forum. Maybe they think that makes Bismarck less special? I don't know.

Byron Angel

Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Byron Angel » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:48 am

After giving thought to your comments, Begile, I've changed my opinion. What I viewed as >>>differences<< could just as easily be seen simply as >>>improvements<<< to the BADEN armor scheme. One other very BADEN-like point which I noticed was the substantial thinning of BISMARCK's main battery barbette armor from 340mm to 220mm below the armored weather deck.

Byron

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by alecsandros » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:13 pm

Hello guys,
What was the side-armor of the coning tower ?

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by frontkampfer » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:35 pm

Accordinng to Brower's book (page 59) it looks like the side armor for the Foretop Superstructure is 60mm and around the Forward Artillery post 350mm.
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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by alecsandros » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:46 pm

frontkampfer wrote:Accordinng to Brower's book (page 59) it looks like the side armor for the Foretop Superstructure is 60mm and around the Forward Artillery post 350mm.
And Baden ?

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by RF » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:15 pm

Going back to the title of this thread I think it is well known that Bismarck was originally planned on the blueprints of SMS Baden and modified on the basis of the technology of twenty years after that original design. The issue of whether Bismarck is really a Baden class battleship has been raised in earlier threads and there is I think a danger that this issue is debated to the nth degree largely focussing on semantics and interpretation without arriving at a productive or useful conclusion.

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:21 pm

Hoyer pretty much sets the record straight and makes clear that the armour scheme used by the Germans circa WWII was based on careful analysis of contempory armour and shell dynamics to best meet specific modern IZ requirements, and not a carry over of design to save time or because they didn't know any better. They considered it the best approach to address contempory armour protection problems. Hoyer made clear that they thoroughly understood and weighed alternative armour schemes and also specific approaches used by others.

I have detailed USN drawings of West Virginia. It had scarps of splinter protection thickness, and it uses a four twin turret layout. I guess one could make a case that Bismarck was a scaled up West Virginia as well as a Baden based on that.
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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:22 pm

All of the important and well known authors on Battleship Design such as Friedman, Raven, Garzke and Dullin have refered to this issue. I think that the most categorical has been Garzke: Bismarck is NOT a Baden heir. As Saxton put it: Bismarck can be an upscale Baden as can be a West Virginia one.
It has been discussed several times in this forum, also.

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Bgile » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:40 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Hoyer pretty much sets the record straight and makes clear that the armour scheme used by the Germans circa WWII was based on careful analysis of contempory armour and shell dynamics to best meet specific modern IZ requirements, and not a carry over of design to save time or because they didn't know any better. They considered it the best approach to address contempory armour protection problems. Hoyer made clear that they thoroughly understood and weighed alternative armour schemes and also specific approaches used by others.

I have detailed USN drawings of West Virginia. It had scarps of splinter protection thickness, and it uses a four twin turret layout. I guess one could make a case that Bismarck was a scaled up West Virginia as well as a Baden based on that.
The obvious difference West virginia doesn't have three screws with all three engine rooms aft. Also, the Germans had no reason to evolve from a US design.

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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:58 pm

Right, and that's the point. Similarity doesn't prove a carry over of design, anymore than a 2010 Ford Mustang isn't the same exact thing as a 1968 Ford Mustang because they utilize same styling motifs and have four wheels, rear wheel drive, a forward mounted engine, and middle mounted transmission.
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Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by yellowtail3 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:22 pm

[quote="Bgile"The obvious difference West virginia doesn't have three screws with all three engine rooms aft. Also, the Germans had no reason to evolve from a US design.[/quote]
...and if they DID evolve from the WV, they should have kept her guns (more oomph)
Dave Saxton wrote:Similarity doesn't prove a carry over of design, anymore than a 2010 Ford Mustang isn't the same exact thing as a 1968 Ford Mustang because they utilize same styling motifs and have four wheels, rear wheel drive, a forward mounted engine, and middle mounted transmission.
Yeah, but that 2010 does look a lot like a 1969 Mach 1.

I've owned '66, '67, and '88 Mustangs, all with 289 and 302 motors and manuals. I want a 2011 5.0 in a big way...
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Byron Angel

Re: BISMARCK armor scheme = BADEN?

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:23 am

Dave Saxton wrote:Right, and that's the point. Similarity doesn't prove a carry over of design, anymore than a 2010 Ford Mustang isn't the same exact thing as a 1968 Ford Mustang because they utilize same styling motifs and have four wheels, rear wheel drive, a forward mounted engine, and middle mounted transmission.
..... No one here is arguing that BISMARCK is a simple or slavish copy of the BADEN design, but there are plenty of earmarks that it broadly followed a similar general design approach for those who are willing to see them. Set a scale with one end representing a classic all-or-nothing armor scheme and the opposite end representing the BADEN armor approach. Where should BISMARCK be positioned on the scale?

Byron

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